Shorty star steps up for ocean swim

ELLE HUNT
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2013
Tyler Read
TAKING THE CHALLENGE: Tyler Read plays Evan Cooper on Shortland Street.

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Swimming 1 kilometre will be quite a stretch for Tyler Read, but the Shortland Street actor loves a challenge.

Read, who plays Evan Cooper on the Street, will be among more than 1000 swimmers taking part in the State Capital Classic event on Sunday.

Read says he's not a natural in the water, but he likes to test himself and, with this Monday being Auckland Anniversary Day, a long weekend in the capital is a bonus.

''I thought it would be a really fun day out, and I really like Wellington, so it's a bonus to be able to go down there.''

Read describes himself as ''quite a sports-orientated person'', and keeps fit by boxing and playing football. 

''But I hardly ever go swimming. I went to the beach a few times this summer and that was about it.''

He has signed up for the ''Step It Up'' 1000m Ocean Swim, which kicks off from Oriental Bay at 9.45am, and finishes at Freyberg Beach. Read  says it will be a ''challenge''.

''One kilometre will push me at the right level. I'll be able to do it, but it will be a struggle.''

More than 1100 swimmers are expected to compete in the four events, the longest of which is the 3.3km ''I'm Going Long'' swim, which starts at Frank Kitts Park and finishes at Freyberg Beach.

That would be something to aspire to, says Read.

''I'd need to do some serious training if I wanted to do that one.''

His co-star on the Street, Jesse-James Pickery-Matteucci - who plays Angel Souza - has also signed up to take the plunge in the event, though there's been some question as to whether he'll make it on the day.

''He's not getting out of it that easily,'' Read says.

The charity partner for the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series is Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Other events are being held in Auckland Harbour, Paihia, Akaroa and Bay of Plenty, with the final at Auckland's North Shore on April 6.

Event director Scott Rice said the Ocean Swim Series was ''all about giving it a go''. 

''And we hope these familiar faces will encourage other swimmers of all abilities to take part.''

Contact Elle Hunt
Capital Day reporter
Email: elle.hunt@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @mlle_elle

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- The Dominion Post

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